White Clapboard House and Dory
Arthur Wesley Dow, American, 1857–1922 American
Sheet: 16.2 x 21.6 cm (6 3/8 x 8 1/2 in.)
Medium or Technique
Herb Ritts Gallery (Gallery 169)
A number of photographers of the Arts and Crafts period sought to create images of rural simplicity infused with poetic atmosphere. One of these was Arthur Wesley Dow, an artist best known for his prints and paintings, who found inspiration in the Japanese print collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he worked in the 1890s. In response to prints by Hiroshige, Hokusai, and others, Dow developed aesthetic principles of design that focused on the flat, formal relationships of compositions and emphasized a harmony of line, tone, and color. Through his teaching and his popular manual Composition, first published in 1899, Dow influenced American art for decades. In his experiments with photography, Dow particularly appreciated the cyanotype process for the ease with which prints could be made and for their decorative blue shade.